Travel bubble bursts: Up to 17 Kiwis detained in Melbourne

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 17, 2020

Meanwhile, 17 travellers of the hundreds who flew from New Zealand to Sydney as part of a new trans-Tasman travel bubble, travelled later to Melbourne, which is not part of the bubble, and were being sought by health authorities, officials in Victoria said.

The flight was part of the New Zealand safe travel arrangement covering New South Wales (NSW) and the Northern Territory.

Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran said in order for the airline to continue to carry passengers safely and identify passengers with travel not originating in New Zealand, it had introduced "quarantine" and "quarantine-free" flights.

The Australian state of Victoria still does not know the names or whereabouts of the group of 17 people who snuck in from New Zealand.

Currently, it is a one-way bubble.

The states of Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania have either closed borders or limited entry which can include quarantine periods, while Victorians are heavily restricted in where they can travel.

The arrivals mark a welcome development in worldwide travel arrivals, with Australia's border being closed to global arrivals since March.

But a Melbourne resident, who was returning home after being in New Zealand looking after his sick father, said his interstate travel experience was quite relaxed.

He got into Melbourne easily and wasn't told anything about having to quarantine or be detained.

"I think in Australia's case, we are only a few days away to be able to say certain states are on top of (the virus) so to speak", he told Nine Network television.

"That's what he's trying to avoid, so I wrote to him this morning and made it clear that we need to get to the bottom of this and have the necessary assurances that it won't happen again".

"I also called the Department of Human Services on Monday and told them that I meant to transit through Sydney to Melbourne".

Jetstar and Air New Zealand offered the first quarantine-free flights on Friday from Auckland into Sydney.

Mr Andrews said the government is still waiting for Australian Border Force to provide them with the details as to where the passengers are.

But Premier Daniel Andrews said the passengers left the airport within minutes of arriving.

Mr Andrews expressed his frustration about the incident, saying he has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

DHSS has been approached for comment.

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